An open letter to all film students

Innovative’s Senior Video Editor, Rick Nelson, was recently asked by his alma mater, ‘The Factory,’ to write some advice for their current body of film students. Here’s what he had to say.

An open letter to all film students:

Create. Design. Produce.

Once you think you’ve created enough… do twice as much… then do three times as much.

An employer wants to see a body of work. But more importantly – think about the commercial value of your work. Is it marketable to a large audience? Does it convey a message effectively? Focus on creating work that will get you work. Focus less on the avant-garde—there will be time for that later.

Pull inspiration for your work. This doesn’t mean be unoriginal. Design and video Inspiration is a great way to convey your message to your creative teams, art directors or a cinematographer. Put thought into the details. Locations, props, wardrobe – they’re just as important as the actors’ performance.

Stay relevant. Read the trades. Follow industry trends and emerging technology.

Stop fixing it in post. Sometimes it sounds like it’s easier, but it never is. And when you get into the real world it can get expensive.

Know your production’s scope and its limitations—both physical and financial. Focus your production around the realistic possibilities. Think outside the box and find creative ways to achieve effects.

Sometimes you’ll fail. We all do. Know that it’s because you need to grow further in whatever field you’re pursuing. Don’t let that deter you. You have to work harder.

Everyone’s opinions matter. Especially the opposing ones. The mixture of the two is what will make your work truly great.

Actively seek and supply constructive criticism. Your work isn’t perfect. It can always be improved upon. Don’t forget no matter how frustrated and deflated you may feel after someone rips a part your work—you will learn from it. Most importantly, the end result is always better because of it.

Best of luck,